TrumpCare is a MENACE

19222709_274603609675702_8059141608461991491_oThe thing that keeps me up right now is Trumpcare, and you all know that because you follow me on Facebook and I haven’t posted about anything else in days. Weeks. Months. YEARS. WHO KNOWS. It’s gotten to the point where people at work are asking me to send them things because I’ve become that girl with the list of links about healthcare. Since most of you don’t actually work with me, I’ve put them for you here instead: – the budget reconciliation process that the Republicans are using to pass the healthcare bill allows for unlimited amendments. If Democrats propose like 4,000 amendments, we could theoretically delay the bill until midterms. You can basically use that link to submit your own amendment and it gets sent to the healthcare aids of your senators and it goes to Minority Leader Chuck Schumer because he’s the one who decides strategy. It’s a creative way to advocate without having to actually talk to people on the phone, which, let’s face it, is the worst. – call scripts for Democratic Senators. They also have links to ones for Republicans and Republicans in the ten vulnerable states where people might flip.

Honestly, these scripts have good info, but they are kind of involved. If you want to have a conversation with the person who answers the phone, that’s AWESOME. And I full support that and there’s a lot of good info for that here. I rarely want to have an actual conversation so I usually just go with something like

“Hi, my name is [NAME]  and I’m a constituent from [ZIPCODE] and I’d like to leave a comment for the Senator”

“Sure, go ahead”

“I’d like to ask that the Senator do whatever he/she can to block passage of the TrumpCare bill. Whether it’s by filibustering, filibustering by amendment or objecting to unanimous consent, I hope that he/she will do whatever they can to make sure that this bill doesn’t pass. We need to see leadership from our Democratic Senators, and we need to see them fighting for us and our loved ones.”

“Great, I’ll pass that along!”

“Thanks, and have a great day!”

“You too.”


You can also call the HELP committee to yell at them for abdicating their responsibility to hold hearings on this bill if you’re feeling ambitious, by calling: 202-224-5375. If you want a script for that, let me know, and I’ll write one. – if you know anyone who lives in Alaska, West Virginia, Maine, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Louisiana or Arkansas, they have particularly vulnerable Senators or Senators who might be persuaded not to vote for Trumpcare, and you can pass those resources along if they are inclined to do something about it. – if you’d rather just donate money, feel free! Swing Left is fundraising for the future opponents of Republicans so that after a Democrat/progressive candidate wins their primary they have a pot of money they can access. People usually spend most of what they’ve fundraised during the primary so this is a good way to give progressive candidates a running start. Pick some Republicans who voted yes on AHCA so that the Senators in those states know that there is national pressure. – finally, Vox has been doing some EXCELLENT healthcare coverage, from what’s wrong with the way they are passing the bill now, to facts about what’s probably in it that you can use to argue with friends, coworkers, family, people on the street or the MAGA assholes on Twitter.

If you have any questions, let me know because I honestly can’t help myself.


I Found Love in a Hopeless Place

1-UVt3VAqz-s1r03HMbhdYQAHey guys…remember that time when I said I hoped the next time something hard happened I’d be able to push through it and write this blog anyway?


Let me set the stage:

Listen, sometimes a diet of NPR and West Wing does things to a person. I once made people switch seats with me at a bar so I could watch the coverage of the government shut down while they were watching…sports of some kind. I’ve often told people I have a huge crush on Jon Favreau and then had to explain that I meant Obama-speech-writer Jon Favreau, not Iron-Man-movies Jon Favreau. And then had to pull a picture of Obama speech-writer-Jon Favreau on my phone. I yell at people a lot, everyone from my parents to my sister to coworkers and friends and random people at bars. It gets me in all kinds of trouble.

Post-election was the worst kind of hangover, the kind where you know something awful happened the night before but you have no idea what the outcome is going to be or if you’re going to be able to come back from it. It was the kind of natural disaster where you reach out to the people you love just to let them know you love them. I kept wanting to have some kind of wake. The worst kind of finding out that Santa Claus isn’t real.

I really didn’t want to care about it anymore. I ended up with months of backlogs of podcasts that I knew I’d never listen to but couldn’t delete because just looking at them upset me. I read the articles and the tweets and I made the posts and the phone calls but it was all out of some kind of desperate anxiety more than any kind of passion.

Plus, there’s no one to yell at anymore. Everyone is just as desperate, just as numb, just as outraged as you. Unless your specific type of Trump-feelings match up with someone else’s at the exact right moment in time, you just end up yelling into their void, or nodding vacantly while they yell into yours.

So I was ripe for the taking when I found Crooked Media. They’d been doing the Keeping it 1600 podcast under the Ringer company during the election, which I had never gotten around to listening to because my own personal podcast renaissance hadn’t started yet, but after the election they moved to start their own company. They’ll give you a lot of good reasons why, but I think the answer is mostly that they wanted a lot more yelling and profanity.


Be still my heart, Jon Favs. 

The group includes Jon Favreau (of crush fame) and his friends Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor. They all are in their early to mid-thirties, which means they were working for Obama in their mid-twenties, which is staggering. In addition to yelling a lot, they also seem to be very close friends who are really smart and have a lot of faith in each other. It’s like a real life West Wing, made all the more similar because we only listen to them a few times a week and don’t see all the hard, boring stuff that goes on behind the scenes.

This is not a prescription. Their particular mode of yelling and analyzing and anger might not work for you. And that’s cool. But nothing in the Trump era has given me quite so much catharsis as listening to a usually calm, tempered Tommy Vietor absolutely lose his shit about the attempted ACA repeal, or as much joy as Favreau’s suggestion that George Soros use SquareCash to pay all us hardworking protesters. And on the days where I can’t bring myself to open the 5Calls app on my phone because of exhaustion or anxiety or whatever, I can always find a push in one of them asking “So what can you guys do to help?” and then making sure we get the answer.

Well that’s one version of the story. The other is that I still have a giant crush on Jon Favreau and when I describe their podcasts to people I call it intellectual puppy bowl. I’m a sucker for their team-as-family, puppy pile bro aesthetic, and I cannot be denied. I also happen to get informed in the meantime.

Listen, people. We have to find joy where we can.